Sequences in Honor of Saint Francis - 356 

Sanctitatis Nova Signa [Sanctity’s New Signs]
(Attributed to Thomas of Celano)

  1. Sanctity’s novel emblems came,
    Signs that were worthy of acclaim,
    Awesome, and yet with warmth aflame,
    To Francis’s hands entrusted.
  2. A new flock to be led and ruled,
    With a new set of laws imbued;
    Thus were the King’s commands renewed,
    By Francis’s hands transmitted.
  3. An order new, a life-form new
    Appeared on earth out of the blue;
    Its sanctioned rule was to renew
    The pattern the gospels teach.
  4. In the image of Christ’s decree,
    Law is remodeled perfectly;
    The purpose of the rule must be
    The apostolic peak to reach.
  5. With simple cord his austere wear
    He bound, to vesture gave no care;
    Bread he carried in measure spare,
    And barefooted, shoes he spurned.
  6. As poverty alone he sought,
    To earthly goods he gave no thought;
    Underfoot all these Francis trod,
    And a purse for money scorned.
  7. Places he sought in which to weep
    And voice a heartfelt sorrow deep,
    Lament upon sad lament heap
    For those worldly years of waste.
  8. Caved in seclusion on the Mount,
    He wailed and prayed upon the ground;
    And when serenity he found
    In those confines hid encased.
  9. In that place with rock for shade,
    Absorbed in godly things he stayed;
    To slight things here wise judgment made
    And espoused the world above.
  10. He curbed his flesh and made it tame
    Until transfigured it became;
    The food he took, from Scripture came,
    Food of earth away he drove.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 356

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